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Article from Research in Bavaria: New Solutions for the Industry of the Future – Digital Twins and Cybersecurity Strategies for the Modern World of Work

The GFA is honoured to be spotlighted in this wonderful article by Vera Spaett from Research in Bavaria.

Here the part regarding the GFA:

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A group of people standing in front of the ferries wheel in Munich.
Participants of the 2nd GFA Future-IoT PhD school on the topic “IoT meets AI” in Munich in September 2019.

A Joint German-French Project Targeting Commercial Success

In 2016, TUM co-founded another long-term project, the German-French Academy for the Industry of the Future (GFA), with the aim of preparing and strengthening industry in France and Germany. The GFA is the result of close cooperation on research, education, and innovation between TUM and the Institut Mines-Télécom (IMT)—the biggest grande école in France, which has campuses across the country.

Since the project started, teams comprised of German and French researchers have collaborated on over 27 research projects, jointly supporting the education of students and doctoral candidates.

“The GFA is a vibrant forum for exchange and international understanding. A whole host of motivated people are putting a lot of energy into strengthening German-French research cooperation,” says Professor Marc-Oliver Pahl, holder of the Chair of Cybersecurity for Critical Networked Infrastructures at IMT. He knows both university partners in the GFA well, having worked at TUM from 2008 to 2019 before accepting a professorship with IMT Atlantique in France.

Graduate Opportunities with the GFA

The GFA’s mission is to strengthen the life-long learning of international students and doctoral candidates, as well as working professionals, around the changes underway in the world of work and the digitalization of the economy. As part of German-French collaboration, the GFA co-organizes PhD schools as well as workshops and hackathons for international students, doctoral candidates, and other researchers in conjunction with industry partners.

Pahl is a member of the GFA steering committee and provides advice on future educational activities at the GFA. He has been teaching students and engaging with digital learning formats for many years, having played a pioneering role in the field of eLearning. The GFA therefore offers free digital learning formats, such as MOOCs, on topics such as the future of work.

Robot walking in a virtual reality environment
A smart assistant robot acts as a guide through the cybersecurity jungle in the virtual reality environment.
Prof. Pahl wearing virtual-reality-glasses
Professor Pahl in an Augmented Reality Security Operation Center with data projected onto his smart glasses.

The TRUE-VIEW Project: Enhanced Cybersecurity Through the Metaverse

Another way of connecting with the GFA is by engaging with its research projects. With computer systems becoming increasingly ubiquitous, data is increasingly collected and processed sometimes without us even realizing. In a recent project called TRUE-VIEW, Pahl and his team explored how the metaverse could be used to raise awareness about invisible data collection and processing.

In the metaverse, users wear headsets to enter collaborative virtual worlds. As part of this work, the team developed several extended reality (XR) interfaces with virtual and augmented reality (VR, AR) as proofs of concept. The scientists created scenarios that provided a virtual representation of Wi-Fi signals at the TUM Department of Informatics, as well as of data processing in factory automation systems and ambient data processing in classrooms, all using 3D headsets.

GFA Seed Funding a Pathway to Career Success

The TRUE-VIEW project led to Pahl’s involvement in the joint Horizon Europe “CyberSecDome” project, which includes 13 partners including TUM and IMT and over €6 million in funding. The GFA also awards seed funding to promising high-risk project ideas to support the preparation of applications for more extensive grants, such as those awarded by the EU and gained by Pahl. Its research topics include Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Manufacturing, and Network Systems. Over 35 large and medium-sized companies from Germany and France work with the GFA. “It’s wonderful to see so many industrial and academic entities wanting to partner with us. Nothing could illustrate the GFA’s success better,” says Pahl.

Please find the full article here: https://www.research-in-bavaria.de/industry-of-the-future

French-German Tech Lab @ VivaTechnology 2023


We are happy to be co-organizers of the French-German Tech Lab on this year’s edition of the biggest Startup Event in Europe “VivaTechnology 2023”. See you there!

Workshop on Human-centered AI: “How to enable a bilateral communication between Human and Machine?” June 27, 2023


Like & Share! Join our Future Industry Workshop with @AKKODIS on June 27 in the Factory Berlin! We are talking about #humancentered #AI ! Check the link for more info & registration

Call for proposals: Education & Knowledge 2023

Context of the Call for Proposals

The digital revolution has drastically changed the landscape of industries, paving the way the for Industry of the Future. With the emergence of advanced technologies and increased automation, it has become imperative for higher education institutions to incorporate up-to-date learning formats to meet the skill-set demands of current industrial needs. Alongside traditional classroom teaching, innovative learning methodologies such as workshops, hackathons and PhD schools are gaining importance. Hackathons are commonly used to cultivate problem-solving and brainstorming abilities in students. Workshops and PhD schools provide students with hands-on experience and exposure to real-world challenges. Networking with experts from the industry and the academic field is also a major asset. These formats enable students to stay abreast of cutting-edge technologies and develop competencies needed for careers in the Industry of the Future. Consequently, the integration of such modern learning formats can be a game-changer for higher education institutions looking to prepare students for the latest developments in the industry.

Objectives of the Call for Proposals

The call is addressed to researchers from TUM and IMT or to researchers that want to team up with researchers of these institutions. (In the second case the GFA can help you find collaborators from these institutions. Please contact us beforehand.) It is obligatory to have minimum one founding member of the GFA (IMT or TUM) involved in your proposal. As it is one of our core missions to foster the French-German relations, it is very important to us that the project takes place on a French-German scale.

The GFA supports:

  • High quality events, such as:
    • Hackathons
    • PhD Schools
    • Scientific Workshops and scientific symposia
    • Other innovative event-like formats
  • Initiation of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees or Doctoral Colleges,
  • Executive educational programs for professionals
  • Projects regarding education and life-long learning aspects for students, young graduates and companies, especially new and creative formats.

Please note: The production of new online courses (MOOCs) will not be supported in this CfP.

Expected Outcomes

Expected outcomes of the CfP “Education & Knowledge” include increased French-German and European collaboration in higher education through initiatives such as Erasmus Mundus and the French-German organization of scientific events. With this call the GFA wants to promote innovation in teaching and learning formats, including new approaches for digital campuses, digital exams, and hybrid formats.

We also expect the development and exchange of good practices in higher education. This could include sharing successful strategies for student engagement, enhancing diversity and inclusion, and improving academic outcomes in our French-German network and beyond.

Through the call informal learning formats beyond universities’ walls, such as workshops, hackathons, and PhD schools are supported. This would help foster collaboration and skill-sharing between students, young entrepreneurs, and industrial experts.

To ensure participants are equipped with interdisciplinary capabilities, career competencies, and technological skills, the call could promote the delivery of such capabilities and encourage knowledge exchange between graduate or PhD students and industry experts.

Overall, we expect our call for proposals to help strengthen the quality and relevance of higher education across French-German and European universities, while also preparing participants for success in their future careers. More generally, the GFA is also strongly interested in German-French collaborations.

Time frame

  • Launch of the call: Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023
  • Deadline for submission: Wednesday, May 31st, 2023, EOB
  • Evaluation Committee: Week 26, 2023 (exact date tbc)
  • Notification of the selected projects: Monday, July 10th, 2023
  • Kick-off of the project: September 2023 (the latest)

Please find the full CfP and the application template here!

We look forward to receiving your proposals and working together.

If you have any questions or need further clarification, please feel free to contact Olivia Pahl (olivia.pahl@imt.fr) or Diane Baumer (diane.baumer@tum.de).

GreenHack~IT 2022 – A great first edition with IMT, TUM and ArianeGroup


That was our hackathon GreenHack~IT last December in Munich. Around 50 French and German students accepted the challenge of ArianeGroup to find ways to decrease the energy consumption in their productions sites. Check our News Article for more info & pictures.

60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty – GFA celebrates 60 years of German-French relations

Exactly 60 years ago, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles De Gaulle signed the Treaty of Friendship in the Élysée Palace. With this agreement, the two neighbors paved the way for a prosperous common future in the heart of Europe after long enmity and wars.

Today, the current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Emmanuel Macron, as well as other politicians and invited guests, met at the Sorbonne University to celebrate this anniversary.

The GFA also celebrates this day, which makes its mission possible, namely to promote and actively shape bilateral research, higher education and industrial relations in the Industry of the Future.

Macron stressed today that Germany and France “cleared the path to reconciliation,” and must therefore “become pioneers to relaunch Europe.” (According to: https://www.dw.com/en/scholz-and-macron-celebrate-60-years-of-elysee-treaty/a-64480184)

It was the same spirit that helped founding the GFA in 2015, when Institut Mines-Télécom (IMT) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) reacted to the idea of President Macron and former Chancellor Angela Merkel to create a French-German research and innovation network accompanying the digitalization of industry processes focusing on AI, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and network cooperation. Since then, the GFA helped develop a total of 30 French-German research projects, directly involving more than 175 researchers, PhD students and engineers as well as more than 30 industrial partners.

The GFA is at the forefront of innovation and will continue it’s mission with a year full of bilateral events, calls-for-projects and other networking activities to support bringing Germany, France and Europe to the cutting edge in the Industry of the Future.

We thank all researchers, companies, network partners and the many people who have helped us in our mission so far and will continue to support us in the future!

GREENHACK~IT – French-German Hackathon, Dec 8-11, 2022 in Munich

!Students from TUM and LMU may still apply for the hackathon until Dec. 4th! Click here!

What is GreenHack~IT?

A hackathon on Green AI for Industry 4.0

Application of Artificial Intelligence on Industrial problems under a Green IT perspective

Using of AI to optimise existing processes in order to make them more sustainable or green.

The hackathon will take place at the Munich Data Science Institute at the TUM campus in Garching.

We will gather 30 students from Institut Mines Télécom (IMT) in France and 30 students from Technical University of Munich (TUM) to form 10 French-German teams of 6 students to tackle the industrial challenge which will be provided by ArianeGroup.

The students will work 3 days and nights to solve the challenge and the best teams will be elected by a jury consisting of academics, industrial experts from Ariane Group, as well as members from the German-French Academy for the Industry of the Future.

This year’s hackathon will take place on December 8-11, 2022

As the participants are already chosen, stay tuned for the next hackathon in 2023. To stay updated on our education projects such as hackathons and summer schools, please check our education page from time to time for news!

What is a hackathon in machine learning?

A machine learning or a data science hackathon is an event that runs for a consecutive period of time (nights or week-ends), where people get together and work non-stop on data-related projects for practice, recognition, networking and for having fun. Data science hackathons can be challenging to crack for beginners. However, one need not be an expert in the field to participate in one. In fact, competitions or hackathons are a great way to master one’s skills, add badges to one’s resume, find solutions to difficult problems and ultimately, find his/her future job in a fun way.

It is about: collaboration, experimentation, agility and serendipity.

Find more info also on the website of the GreenHack~IT.

!Students from TUM and LMU may still apply for the hackathon until Dec. 4th! Click here!

Smart World! Smart Europe? – Conference on European Digital Sovereignty

On 11 and 12 May 2022, we held our first big conference on European Digital Sovereignty in Munich.

You are cordially invited to watch the recording of the first day…

and the second day, too!

The conference focused on ideas that seek to advance Digital European Sovereignty. For this purpose we brought together relevant experts from society, academia and industry. Overall the conference seeks to raise awareness on the topic of European Digital Sovereignty, and generate concrete solutions on future education, research, governance.

On the first day, we showed ideas for solutions to advance European Digital Sovereignty, especially presented by groups of students from all over Europe.

On the second day, we integrated politics’, academia’s and industry’s challenges with these ideas.

5th Future-IoT.org PhD school “IoT meets Autonomy”, 29.8.-2.9.2022 in Berlin

We celebrate our 5th anniversary this year! We cordially invite you to our 5th Future-IoT.org PhD school on “IoT meets Autonomy” from Aug 29th – Sep 2nd, 2022 at the Einstein Center Digital Future in Berlin, Germany. Expect a week full of exciting challenges, keynotes, PhD pitches, networking, sight seeing, and more – short, a lot of fun is awaiting you. Inform your friends! Share the info! Subscribe to the news! Participate with your company in the organisation! More info and registration at school.future-iot.org

This year’s edition has the motto “IoT meets Autonomy“. Many of the computer systems around us work autonomously. They simply run without human intervention, adapt to their environment, or even evolve with mechanisms such as Machine Learning. Implementing such functionality can be challenging. These challenges are not only technical but also ethical, societal, juridic, etc. In this years edition, we will explore different forms of autonomy using the IoT as use case. Topics include but are not limited to Data Analytics, Machine Learning, IoT protocols, self-*, and cybersecurity.

All in the usual format with a strong participation of our industry partners, including Siemens and AWS, our university partners TU IMT Atlantique, TU München, TU Berlin, Institut Mines Télécom, and our institutional partners German-French Academy for the Industry of the Future and Université Franco-Allemande / Deutsch-Französische Hochschule.

About the Future-IoT.org PhD school series

The Future-IoT.org Ph.D. school series happens once a year since 2018. It was started by Marc-Oliver Pahl (back then TU München, now IMT Atlantique) and Nicolas Montavont (IMT Atlantique). In 2022 Sebastian Steinhorst (TUM) joined the organization.

The previous editions are listed in the following. Click on the links to get an impression of what you can expect in the recordings.

The series is organized by IMT Atlantique and the Technical University of Munich as a flagship event of the German-French Academy for the Industry of the Future. The French-German series is kindly supported by the Deutsch-Französische Hochschule / Université Franco-Allemande.

Future-IoT.org connects academia and industry. Therefore, the series is in collaboration with leading industry partners from France and Germany including Airbus, ArianeGroup, Atos, AWS, elm.leblanc, Siemens, and several other industrial partners.

The Future IoT summer school offers an exciting mix of lectures, hands-on tutorials, and hackathon challenges. There is also a lot of room for getting to know each other, networking, and exploring our hosting city!

Key facts

  • 40 students from all over the world on-site, connecting to each other and working on real challenges
  • ~60 online participants
  • Live Streaming over YouTube and LinkedIN
  • ~11 Keynotes and lectures from top industrial and academic experts.
  • ~10 exciting challenges you will work on in teams of 4 coming directly from our industry partners in our startup hackathon.
  • 1 icebreaker session with your PhD pitch, opening a great networking event.
  • 1 hacking night with games and pizza.
  • 1 pitch event in front of our expert jury on Friday with prizes!
  • Direct contact to key people of the participating companies.
  • A unique location with excellent food.
  • Multiple social events to get to know all participants and our hosting city
  • and much more!